International Political Economy (BSIS) - PO846

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
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7 20 (10) DR A Azmanova







The module is built around 12 lectures and 12 one-hour seminars.

The module explores doctrines of state-economy relations and theories of international political economy in order to equip students with a capacity to analyse the complexities of an ever-more dynamic global economy in ways that the disciplines of economics and international relations on their own cannot capture. Our focus is on the transformation of democratic capitalism from its emergence as an institutionalised social order in the 19th century, to its 20th century modalities (the post-WWII welfare state and the late 20th century neoliberalism) to its current form.

The module will involve 12 lectures and 12 class discussions. Students will be strongly encouraged to participate in these discussions. Indeed, there are a number of student readings that are not required readings for the class but which will be individually assigned to students, who will write very short briefs on these readings to be made available via e mail to other students in the class. These summaries will be very briefly presented during the class discussion.


This module appears in:


Spring Term

Method of assessment

The seminar presentations will not be assessed formally, their purpose is to structure the learning process. Final assessment of the module will be based on a written assignment (research paper) of approximately 5000 words.

Indicative reading

Thomas Oatley*, International Political Economy (Routledge, 2014: 5th Edition).
Darel E. Paul and Abla Amawi, The Theoretical Evolution of International Political Economy: A Reader*(Oxford University Press, 2013:
3rd edition).
John Ravenhill, Global Political Economy (Oxford University Press, 2014: 4th Edition).
Ronen Palan, Global Political Economy: Contemporary Theories (New York : Routledge, Second edition, 2013)
Roy H. Smith, Imad El-Anis, Chris Farrands, International political economy in the 21st century: contemporary issues and analyses (Harlow, Essex : Pearson Education 2011)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes and, as appropriate, their relationship to programme learning outcomes
• Develop an understanding of the main theories, concepts, and approaches to International Political Economy, as they developed in historical perspective, in order to contextualise and situate the main debates within the recent evolution of the global political economic system;
• Understand key structures of the international economy (trade, investment, finance, monetary matters, development regionalization, globalization, democratization) and place these in a theoretical and historical context;
• Develop in depth analyses of key concepts used in the explanation of each structure of the international political economy;
• Demonstrate and evaluate the utility of different modes of explanation in international political economy, while contextualising this sub-discipline within the discipline of International Relations as a whole;
• Inculcate a critical and reflexive attitude towards various schools, approaches, paradigms, and traditions of interpretation in international political economy.
• Apply theoretical perspectives to case studies.
• Find, select, analyze, and use empirical material relating to international political economy;
• Understand the scope and limits of extant theoretical concepts in light of developments in the globalizing international political economy;
• Recognize the normative dimensions of choices about the allocations of resources, and the tools of governance in the international political economy.
• Develop a more critical view of the capacities and limits of contemporary economic analysis and its policy implications.
• Develop a degree of familiarity with the narrative of change in the post-war world economy

The intended generic learning outcomes and, as appropriate, their relationship to programme learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this module:
- will be able to work with theoretical knowledge and apply theory to key policy issues
- will be able to undertake analysis of complex, incomplete or contradictory areas of knowledge and make carefully constructed arguments
- will have a level of conceptual understanding that will allow them to critically evaluate research, policies, and practices and thus be better positioned to develop their own solutions to international challenges.
- will be reflective and self-critical in their work
- will be able to engage in academic and professional communication with others
- will have independent learning ability required for further study or professional work
- will be able to use the Internet, bibliographic search engines, online resources, and effectively conduct research

By helping students to progress towards these generic learning outcomes, the module contributes to achieving the general aims of our undergraduate programmes, which aim to
• Provide the tools to evaluate different interpretations of international economic events and issues;
• Communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing;
• Use communication and information technology for the retrieval and presentation of information;
• Identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems;
• Develop reasoned arguments, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement
• Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organization and time-management

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